Graduation ground rules

University of Kent graduation

Graduation day can be a pretty hectic and overwhelming day as you stick to a tight schedule all the while entertaining your family (especially if they’re coming from far away). Nonetheless, it’s bound to be one of your most memorable days so a few tips on what to do when will come in handy.

  1. Outfits

If unfortunately for you (and I) a graduation outfit isn’t as easy as a shirt, some trousers and a tie, you’ll want to start looking for a dress early on. Saying that, I wasn’t able to find mine until three days before the big day, but nonetheless having a browse early will help you eliminate what you’re not looking for and increase your chances of finding one early!

  1. Tickets, gowns and PHOTOS (because your mother will want 237 of them)!

Tickets, gowns and photos are all provided/taken within the same area. Woohoo! Having said that, I would recommend getting ready for the big day early so then you can head out for a nice lunch and sort out all of the above before the queues begin! My ceremony was at 7:30pm yet I went to collect my tickets and gown at 3:30pm, and the collection hall was basically empty. Remember these are held in July and it can get quite warm waiting in line with those gowns on!

  1. LADIES, keep calm and stay comfortable.

If any of you are as unfortunate as I am when walking in heels (looking more like Bambi on a night out) then trust me you can still sashay down that aisle in some nice flats! A lot of girls, myself included, chose the comfortable option so I can guarantee you won’t be alone. If you’re concerned about photos, I kept my heels with me and just swapped into them when I wanted one with them on.

  1. Accommodation
    If you’re bringing family over from abroad or just plan to stay here for a few days, I suggest you book some rooms as soon as they release your graduation date. I booked mine the day after I got my date I believe, resulting in plenty of rooms for everyone in a nearby hotel plus cheap rates.
  2. Big family? Choose your four favourite members for tickets!
    A lot of students attend the same ceremony each day, each having at least two family members with them. Thus, the university limits you to four tickets to the ceremony. You receive two automatically when you register for graduation and then you get a chance to purchase two more at a later date from the leftovers. For those not able to enter, there is plenty to do in the Cathedral grounds whilst they wait for you (they are allowed into the grounds, just not the actual ceremony!) i.e. tents with information, music and a bar with refreshments, coffees, teas etc. Once you finish your ceremony, you will walk right out into the grounds where the rest of your family will be waiting for you.

All in all it’s great fun, you get to be a star for the day and reunite with many course mates! Enjoy 🙂

This post is by Natalie Mclaren